Framework for Federal Cannabis Regulation

Representing D4DPR on the Drug Policy Alliance’s Workgroup for Federal Cannabis Regulation, board member Dr. Rachel Knox has contributed to the development of a detailed framework to guide the development of federal cannabis regulations. This framework focuses on Ending, Repairing, and Preventing Harm when designing a law to regulate cannabis and proposes guidelines for addressing human, environmental, social and economic equity.


We must end the harms of cannabis prohibition by:

  • Acknowledging the history of prohibition and taking responsibility for the harms of it
  • Descheduling cannabis
  • Ending criminalization & punishment for cannabis
  • Limiting the consequences of cannabis use or convictions
  • Refocusing & reprioritizing enforcement by restricting federal law enforcement funding,
  • limiting the role of police and ending racially-biased enforcement

We must repair the harms of cannabis prohibition by:

  • Automatically expunging past federal cannabis arrests and convictions
  • Funding and incentivizing states to expunge state cannabis arrests and convictions
  • Establishing a just and equitable industry
  • Limiting barriers for people with past drug convictions from participating in the industry
  • Enacting a progressive federal tax to support an equitable industry
  • Ensuring profits are redirected back into the communities that have been most harmed

We must prevent further harm by:

  • Properly regulating cannabis to protect consumer health and privacy, the environment,
  • minors, and ensure fair and safe labor practices
  • Creating a federal oversight and accountability board
  • Limiting and tightly regulating large corporate entities
  • Encouraging and funding research
  • Protecting tribal interests and respecting tribal sovereignty
  • Ensuring international trade policies protect domestic producers and do not put unnecessary barriers on importation from traditional source countries